Dundee are on the verge of knockout football in this season’s Premier Sports Cup as they continued their 100% record in the group stage.
After Sunday’s match at Ross County was called off due to the Staggies’ Covid issues, the Dark Blues knew victory would put them in charge of Group C.
And they were very much in charge at Links Park, though it took a little patience to find their way through a stubborn Montrose.
James McPake’s side continued their relentless recent form, picking up where they left off last season.
What did we learn from the Dark Blues on Wednesday night, though?
A quick look at Dundee’s bench pre-match gave a clear indication of the quality that is spread throughout the squad at Dens Park.
The team chosen was the same that beat Brora Rangers last week and also only one player removed from the play-off final XI.
But it was the men on the sidelines who made the difference in the second half.
Jason Cummings had replaced Alex Jakubiak at the break and showed no ill effects from his recent bout of coronavirus.
He opened the scoring from the spot before a fellow sub sealed victory on 72 minutes.
Signed from Ayr this summer, Luke McCowan has looked a livewire in his short time with the Dark Blues.
And he grabbed his first goal for the club, rattling in a rebound from a Jordan McGhee shot.
Also on the bench were young talents Max Anderson and Fin Robertson alongside new signings Ian Lawlor, Ryan Sweeney and Corey Panter.
To illustrate the point further, strikers Danny Mullen and Cillian Sheridan are to return to the squad, too.
The noticeable difference to Dundee’s approach in these early games has been their desire to press the opposition defence with intensity.
Particularly when Jakubiak led the line, the Dark Blues were all over the home defence, looking to force a mistake.
They did pick their moments, however.
From the sidelines, manager McPake could be heard encouraging his frontline to get after the ball but it was by no means every single time.
In pre-season that has already paid dividends, Premiership defences beware.
Anyone who watched Dundee last season knows they are a menace from set-plays, particularly corner kicks.
Between them, centre-backs Lee Ashcroft and Liam Fontaine were into double figures for goals last term.
And both should have scored at least once each in the first half at Links Park. From Charlie Adam deliveries, both hit the crossbar and had another header fly just wide or go straight at the goalie.
With the wicked delivery of skipper Adam, set-pieces promise to be another fruitful route to goal for the Dark Blues.
McGowan, too, got his fair share of assists from the other side.
With the added threat of new signings Sweeney and Sheridan, Dundee could well be lethal from dead ball situations once more.